Photo thanks to Kyle Lishok
The Fox Is Black and Los Angeles, I’m Yours, aka myself and Kyle, are coming to New York from June 7th till June 17th. While we’re there we’re going to be checking out the Vimeo Festival + Awards, doing a bit of work on the side, and trying to meet and see as many fun people as possible. If you’re interested in meeting up with us for a coffee or a drink or to show us what cool stuff you’re working on please let us know by emailing me at thefoxisblack *AT* gmail.
We’re also thinking about having a little get together at a bar/space/scary warehouse on Thursday, June 14th, so keep your calendar clear. If you have a space that you think might work for a fun get-together please get in touch at the email above.
We’re so excited to be headed back to New York again, it’s long overdue.
In case you have a deaf ear to the world’s biggest social networking company, on Friday, May 18, 2012, Facebook had it’s initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Starting at a comfortable $38, the stock took an early tumble by the end of the day as a deluge of buyers followed the major investment companies into the stock. Whether Facebook was worth $100 billion or not didn’t matter – this was as sexy as Wall Street could come outside of Armani suits and Ferragamo shoes. A web company, many believed, that could rival Google as the greatest web IPO of all time.
Naturally there seems to be a gross miscalculation in both value and necessity. The Nasdaq Exchange had “auction software problems” early on, delaying the debut, preventing a fair playing field on trading, and confused the hell out of every clueless investor. Furthermore, the IPO was supposed to be supplemented by Wall Street’s largest companies/crooks: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America had projected a high revenue growth which would have led to massive investment from both firms. By the end of the day they had all lowered their expectations. The stock began to plummet. Regulators have stepped in and brought legal action to Morgan Stanley for possibly deceiving their customers. By tuesday the stock lost 18% of its issuing price, dropping to $31.
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About a month ago the kind folks from Colombia based Hasso sent me the beautiful Garcia tote bag you see above. Made by hand in Bogotá, Hasso has embraced a traditional way of making bags, employing “more than 50 skilled artisans who have been working with leather and tailoring since before we were born.”
I’d been a fan of Hasso’s bags for a while now, you can see I posted about them back in 2010. The design of their bags feature silhouettes that are timeless, somewhat familiar seeming, but really pretty unique. I chose to get theGarcia tote bag since I’ve ben on the look out for something that’s a bit nicer than the Monocole tote bag I’d been using. The bag is incredibly made and is actually suited perfectly to the things I carry around on a day-to-day basis.
My usuals are a laptop, two or three magazines, a couple notebooks, some pens, my Apple headphones, a USB cord and my keys. The pens, headphones, USB cord and my keys stow away in the front pouches. The notebooks, magazines and laptop are divided into three sections in the main pouch. What I love is that the main pouch is secured using a piece of leather and a brass ball to keep your laptop from sliding anywhere. The front pouches have a similar leather snap closure, though with a loop so that they don’t come out of place. It’s these simple touches that make the bag feel like your stuf is totally safe.
And as weird as it is to say, I’ve never owned a bag with so many leather pieces to it. It’s been cool to see how pieces like the leather straps have started to get softer and more flexible since I started using it. You can tell that this is one of those bags that will only get better with age. I think the last killer detail to the whole thing is the bright red interior. I think it brings such a lively feeling to the bag that wouldn’t have been there had they chosen to go with some more restrained.
Overall I have to say that I love this bag, and I use it on and off with my Incase bag depending on where I’m going. If I’m riding the bus or my bike I take the Incase. If I’m driving to work or need to go to a nice event I take the Hasso. Funny enough (I swear I had nothing to do with this) Hasso is having a huge sale right now. The bag above is like $50 off, which is a pretty substantial cut. If you’re in the market for a nice bag (they also have some nice backpacks, dop kits and iPad cases) you should hit up their store soon before the sale ends.
I think it’s also good to keep in mind that Hasso is small company using local artisans. It’s always good to support the underdogs.
Since the end of Friday the posts have been feeling really “natural”, so I thought I’d try to ride that vibe for as long as possible. The images above look like rocky crags from some desolate mountain range, but they’re actually visualized bits of randomized data. They were created by a guy named Andreas Nicolas Fischer, a Berlin based artist who “concerns himself with the physical manifestation of digital processes and data through generative systems to create sculptures, videos, prints and installations.”
I think it’s pretty remarkable that you can take data and make it feel natural. There has to be something in that, like the chaos of the universe or something. I wonder how long it took him to create a realness to these pieces? I’d guess that there’s a lot of fine tuning that needs to be done in order to control the random nature of generative systems.
Also, if you happen to be in Dublin, Andreas is a part of a show called Experimenting With Clouds at RUA RED as a part of the Glitch Festival. Check it out if you’re in the neighborhood.
Many of you may remember Iron – Yoann Lemoine’s excellent video for his Woodkid music project which we posted about last year. For my money it was easily one of the best videos of last year; filled with stylized action, stunning costumes and lush cinematography. Fortunately Woodkid is back with a new EP and Lemoine has really outdone himself with the new video.
The track is called Run Boy Run and Lemoine’s video show the titular boy of the song running valiantly through a dark landscape. Here he escapes beasts, birds and nature as he hurls himself towards his destination. The art direction is pretty flawless and it’s hard to imagine that we’ll see a more stylish video this year. Makers of music videos take note – more like this please!
Eric Valli is a French photographer who takes incredible photographs of some extreme situations. Back in 2004 he took this series of photos of the Gurung, a community of people who live in the foothills of the Himalayas. Twice a year the men scale the cliffs that are home to the world’s largest honeybee, Apis laboriosa. From the National Geographic article the photos were shot for:
The harvest ritual, which varies slightly from community to community, begins with a prayer and sacrifice of flowers, fruits, and rice. Then a fire is lit at the base of the cliff to smoke the bees from their honeycombs.
From above, a honey hunter descends the cliff harnessed to a ladder by ropes. As his mates secure the rope and ladder from the top and ferry tools up down as required, the honey hunter fights territorial bees as he cuts out chunks of honey from the comb.
For hundreds of years, the skills required to perform this treacherous task have been passed down through the generations. But now both the bees and traditional honey hunters are in short supply, according to scientists.
The article sadly begins to describe the increasing demand of the Apis laboriosa honey which is ultimately putting the bees at risk. The Gurung has been gathering the nests responsibly for who knows how long, but Nepal’s forestry department has “transferred ownership of the cliffs from indigenous communities to the government and opened up honey harvesting rights to contractors on a first-come, first-served basis.” I’m not sure what’s happened in the last 8 years, but hopefully the situation has normalized itself and the bees and the Gurung can go back to their natural ways.
I’d also suggest checking out Eric’s photos of the Raji Nomads who gather honey from the trees of the border of India and Nepal. The last photo in that sat is a beauty.
Last week I came across these great prints from Justin Myer Staller. Mr. Staller is a Philadelphia based artist who makes these great, photo-realistic images, and these ones of flowers are my absolute favorite. There’s some about the imperfection of these pieces which I really love, the slight jitter of the alignment. Then there’s the colors which burst off the page, making the print seem even more amazing than a real bouquet.
You can snag yourself one of the prints above for only $25.
We’re off today for Memorial Day, but I thought I’d share this editorial piece from the New York Times, which I think frames this day of remembrance quite well.
It has always seemed fitting to mark the purpose of this holiday — honoring those who have died in our country’s service — at the exuberant end of May. The outburst of spring is just slowing into summer’s cadence, and yet you can still smell and feel the biological crescendo all around you.
Whether it consoles the people who are gardening those graves is for them to say. And these years, after a decade of two wars, there are many lost lives to mourn. But nature is doing all it can to comfort. Life, it seems to be saying, continues on from summer to summer. There are memories and sadness, but also a verdancy that makes us celebrate what we have.